Document Type

Journal Article


School of Chinese Medicine


Oolong tea: A critical review of processing methods, chemical composition, health effects, and risk




Oolong tea (OT) is a traditional Chinese tea (Camellia sinensis) and is especially popular in south China. This review is to comprehensively summarize the miscellaneous research that has been done towards to the processing, phytochemistry, health benefit, and risk of OT. These literatures were carried out not only from different electronic databases but also from text books written in English, Japanese, and Chinese, including those traditional records tracing back to the Tang Dynasty (A.D. 618–907). The full process OT producing is depicted below in this review. The phytochemistry of OT has been comprehensively investigated. More than 100 chemical compositions have been isolated and identified. In health benefit, OT performs outstandingly in reducing obesity and controlling diabetes explained by modern pharmacological studies. (−)-Epigallocatechin-3-gallate (6) in OT prevention of cancerous cells developing. OT can also improve and reduce on heart and vascular disease, protect teeth and bone, function as anti-oxidative and antibacterial agents. This review also mentioned the risk, summarized briefly on various forms of toxicity and harmful associated with OT. In short, this review can provided a natural product library of OT, gave inspirations for further new garden systems, designed idea on quality, bioactivity-oriented screening. In addition, it is suggested more scientists and education is necessary to guarantee the stability and safety of drinking OT.


Oolong tea, processing methods, chemical composition, health effects, risk

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Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition


Taylor & Francis

Peer Reviewed



This work was partially supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81603381, 81673691) the Guangdong Natural Science Foundation (2016A030313008, 2014A030313766), the Shenzhen Science and Technology Innovation Committee (JCYJ20160518094706544), and the Faculty Research Grant of Hong Kong Baptist University (FRG2/15-16/022).



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